This is the mindset that brought about my recovery.
From November of 2010 until August of 2016 I was afraid. Change was needed, but my fear overwhelming.
I feared losing control, gaining weight, feeling uncomfortable. I didn’t know who I would be, or how I could cope without an eating disorder. It unnerved me to even ponder letting go of my food rigidity and exercise addiction. I was afraid to trust my dietitian, treatment team and ultimately: My own body.
My eating disorder was a coping mechanism for 6 long years. Even when I seemed to be doing okay (i.e. not in a hospital or treatment center of some type), I was still very much in the grips of anorexia. It kept me “safe” and I felt in control. That is, until it didn’t.
Finally, I reached a point in my life where I knew I would lose everything if I stayed in my disease. It was the Summer of 2016, I was wasting away to skin and bone. I could just envision what would happen if I did not change: I would lose the ability to go to college, my boyfriend who I love dearly would probably move on, I would be sent to a treatment facility against my will… and the crushing reality- I could die.
Fear and Faith
Fear stems from a lack of faith. Whether you believe in God, the powers of the universe or nothing, fear arises when you face uncertainty and are scared to move forward into the unclear future.
Faith is the opposite of fear. Faith is trusting in advanced what will only make sense in reverse. And that is what I did. I set aside my fear, and trusted the process.
That first step will be intimidating. This is where “feeling the fear and doing it anyway” comes into play. You put your head down, dig deep, and listen to that whisper inside you that says, “I can do this.”
Afterwords, I can tell you from experience that it will feel like the weight of the world is lifted off your chest. You will have a lightness about you because finally, after years and years of being alone, you finally have put your trust into something outside of yourself. For me it was God and my dietitian. I knew neither of them would fail me. Deep down my fear of staying in my eating disorder was greater than letting it go.
I wish I could make anyone struggling in life let go of their fear and trust the process. But I cannot. The reality is you must choose to change on your own. My hope for anyone reading this is that it does not take you 6 years. I pray that you may find your mustard seed of faith, and let it grow. I promise, the other side of fear is a beautiful place to be.